Coady positive about his direct elect proposition

By Curtis Riggs | March 18, 2009

Prop. 404 on May 19 ballot
CAREFREE – Citizens will have an important decision to make on May 19 in addition to selecting four of the remaining seven council candidates in a run off for Carefree Town Council.

Citizens will also vote on Councilman Bob Coady’s proposition, which calls for citizens to directly elect their mayor, (Prop. 404).

While Coady’s proposition was filed too late to make the ballot of last week’s March 10 primary election, the measure which came about in the waning months of 2008, appears to have affected the primary election totals as much as anything.

Coady obtained 401 signatures on petition calling for the proposition to be on the ballot at a time when his council peers were doubtful he could pull it off.

Coady registered 800 votes in his bid for re-election last week. The only council incumbents within 200 votes of his total were Glenn Miller (627) and Greg Gardner (613). The rest of the council incumbents, Mayor Wayne Fulcher (586), Vice Mayor Lloyd Meyer (587), Councilman Bob Gemmill (581) and David Schwan (569) finished far below him.

Even more telling about Prop. 404 is that voters turned down Prop. 403 last week, which called for doubling the length and staggering council terms. Prop. 403 was defeated by 166 votes.

Before Prop. 403 made it to the ballot, Coady maintained he would not have filed his proposition if Fulcher would have extended him the courtesy of placing directly electing the mayor on a town council agenda so it could have been discussed.

“I’m not surprised I received 401 signatures on the petitions. I could have had 500 or 600 if it had not happened over the holidays,” he said. “People were lined up to sign the petitions. People feel short-changed by not getting to vote for the mayor.”

At the Jan. 5 council meeting, his council peers took turns challenging and faulting Coady with regard to his proposition. The arguments against it ranged from it being a “procedural mess” to something which would cost the town thousands in legal fees.

“They tried to humiliate and embarrass me and it turned around and bit them,” Coady said about coasting to re-election last week. “People read between the lines and made their own decisions.”